19th Mar 2010, 14:27

I am considering selling my 1980 XJ650 Maxim. It is in pristine condition with 1100 original miles. A solid 9 in looks. The mirrors still have the green plastic shipping film on the backside. I have the manuals, original tools and security chain that unlocks with the ignition key. New tires, battery. Great small bike, but I need something for super long road trips. My question is: what is it worth?


23rd Mar 2010, 20:00

Hi gang. Posted an ad on craigslist for a project bike. Got a response from someone saying he had a 650 Maxim that was running before he parked it in his barn 10 years ago. He's only asking $200 for it. After reading here about the bike, I'm definitely thinking of giving it a go. I haven't actually looked at the bike, but I was wondering what kinds of things I should be on the lookout for with a bike that's been sitting up so long? Thanks in advance. You can email me at mcockrell1 at gmail dot com.

24th Mar 2010, 14:37

Could turn into more of a project bike than you want after 10 years sitting. Possibilities include, dry rot tires, rusty tank interior, gunked up carbs and brakes, corroded caliper/engine piston, cracked/brittle seat/fork/brake seals, shot battery and maybe a frozen engine if not prepped before storage.

Might not be all that bad, but could get expensive with new parts if needed. I personally would look around for one that's running and gets driven. Put your $ in a known runner. You'll spend more initially, but will come out ahead in the end.

Tires alone will set you back a couple hundred, plus mounting costs. Motorcycle Trader has some really nice ones from time to time. Choice is yours. Check around.

15th Apr 2010, 18:29

Hey everybody! I bought a '81 Midnight Maxim 650 (very sexy!!) and a '83 Maxim 750 last fall for $375. I bought them from a guy who got them off a repo house. Title cleared so I am going ahead on rebuilding the Midnight!

The Midnight ran, but the lights would shut off as soon as the engine fired. I have since then stripped EVERY part off the frame for a total sandblast and paintjob. If anyone else is interested, you can get a black epoxy aerosol at Advance Auto for $6 and it seems to work really well. I also bought a "new" wire harness off ebay for a XJ750 to clear up the mess from the prior owner.

The major renovation I am attempting is switching the upper end of the 650 with the 750, because the shift pattern is backwards on the 750 due to a fancy lever system that won't fit on the older frame. I haven't finished it yet, but it's looking very good so far. I am also switching the older style forks for the '83 with dual disc brakes and adjustable suspension. The gauge cluster is also going because the '83 has an electronic tach. I am keeping the stock look, minus some of the tasty gold trim due to corrosion. I am painting those parts black with gold accents now. I am also planning on eventually getting some slimmer signal lights and a small, smoked windscreen to complement the very sexy, dark, contours of the bike.

All of my friends ride old Yamaha Maxims, and some also have Viragos, so I am using their expertise to help me out. All things considered, the process seems to be really easy to completely restore these older bikes for those interested.

My only question is if anyone know where I can get a good, black, 4-2 exhaust? I prefer the slash cut look..

If you get the chance to get one of these bikes for cheap, they are totally worth it!

17th Apr 2010, 18:55

Greetings all, I thought I would update my post of 12/01/09. My Yamaha 650 Maxim, which I thought was a 1984 turned out to be a 1982.

Prior to picking it up from the storage shed, I had not seen it for about ten years, and had not rode or started it ten years prior to that.

I couldn’t believe how rough it looked. The tires were flat and cracked, the chrome had turned to rust, it was caked with grime and a puddle of brake fluid from the front caliper was seen on the sheds floor. The odometer reading was 4515 miles (It was almost enough to make a grown man cry).

When I got it home, I placed it on the center stand, put it into gear and attempted to turn the engine over by turning the rear wheel. Much to my dismay it wouldn’t budge, the engine was froze up. I removed the four spark plugs and loaded each cylinder up with penetrating oil. I seriously thought about abandoning the whole project and putting it on Craig’s list. I decided that since I m retired, and have plenty of free time, I would proceed with the project and limit my spending to $400.00.

I was very surprised when I opened the gas tank and found a full tank of gas that only slightly smelled of varnish and was still very clear. (We are talking about the old type of leaded gas without ethanol and Sea foam added). I removed the tank and emptied the fuel. At first it looked good, and then the rust came pouring out. I placed about a pond of pee rock inside the tank and would shake the heck out of it for a few minutes every time I went into the garage for about the next two weeks. I then washed the tank out with how water and Lysol. I then proceeded to perform an electrolysis treatment to the tank, which worked fantastically, for pennies. There were no signs of any rust left in the tank, but I decided to coat the tank with KBS Tank Liner. I only purchased the last step of their three step recommended process, as I felt I took care of the first two steps.

I removed the carbs and disassembled them. I could not believe how good they looked inside considering how old the gas was. I took photos of them to show a motor head friend of mine who I know would not believe me. I was going to purchase rebuild kits for them until I found out how much they would cost. I decided I would first try a good cleaning, which I did.

The next issue I addressed was that of the brake caliper. From my limited experience I have found that if the caliper leaks after sitting a long time, it’s junk. Equipped with this knowledge, I still decided to fill the reservoir back up and bleed the system. After running about a 12 oz container of brake fluid through the system, it came out clean and I had hydraulic pressure. I was very pleased with the results, but figured the fluid would start leaking back out. That was over two months ago and not a drop has leaked out.

About two weeks ago, I attempted to rotate the rear wheel for the umpteenth time, and “Bingo”, the penetrating oil did its job after four months, and the engine spun over freely. At this point optimism overwhelmed me. I put in a new battery, changed the oil, fueled it up, and hit the start button. It turned over for about twenty seconds and then started. Smoke bellowed out of the exhaust as the engine missed, backfired and sputtered. It sounded like it was going to come apart. It ran like this for about thirty seconds, and then smoothed out and ran perfect.

After hours of cleaning, waxing, polishing and tweaking, it was time to hit the road. As I pulled out of my garage today, I was a little nervous as so many years have passed since I drove a motorcycle, but I was very excited. I put forty miles on today riding only side streets and had a ball. The Maxim was running perfectly and looking good. I felt a real sense of accomplishment